SABC Stalemate

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We have seen their competitors positioning themselves in different markets they are operating in and willing to invest and employ the right personnel adequately.

A troubled voice from one of the SABC employees, “what have you done to change things at the SABC since your appointment?” The above was a question directed to the SABC executive member.

The staff member’s question above is one of the critical questions that the SABC staff needs to ask as they face retrenchments. It is important to note that the organization so poorly run for several years, and as we’ve been witnessing a growing amount of wasteful expenditure for some years.

It is painful for the current SABC employees to be sacrificial for SABC’s past failures. I wonder if staff retrenchment is the ultimate answer in this challenging economic environment. It would be essential to see if the staff costs reduction will ultimately result in increased revenue. Upon completion of this exercise, will the company remain profitable? I don’t hear anything about new revenue streams or future projections.

The current impasse needs to be urgently sorted between staff members and management because it can result in a recipe that will destroy the entity’s last hope of survival. Every organization requires staff that is motivated.

To resolve this impasse, the employees must be at the center of helping the organization solve the stalemate. The employee’s views are essential in this regard; ideas from them can make the situation manageable.

I also do think there is more for the government and the board that they can do to remedy the situation. The entity has a public mandate that the government in all its activities will need to support. A balanced funding model is urgently required so that the entity can fulfill its identified mandate.

The board also has a responsibility to ensure that the entity continues to be sustainable. The organization continued sustainability is an area that the SABC has been found wanting. I would also think it will also be encouraging if there can be a word that affirms that Executive Management salaries are to be reduced in solidarity of what the employees are facing, so to contain costs.

In my view, I don’t think cutting the staff costs will be the answer for now. The organization’s biggest challenge is about how they can change and become relevant in this industry. We have seen their competitors positioning themselves in different markets they are operating in and willing to invest and employ the right personnel adequately.

I think the general public will respond better to a prepared broadcaster going an extra mile in investing in content that attracts the new generation. We can’t still have the very same old programs and expect an increase in viewership or advertising revenue, and something must change.

This industry is dynamic and changing. To stay relevant, let the Executive Management and the Board invest in content that attracts the industry’s changing viewership.

Therefore, through innovation and staying abreast with the new changing environment, retrenchments will remain the last resort.

By Nyaniso Qwesha